Exploring Sicily and Digging for Innovation
Digital Nomads at Impact Hub
Adrien Malguy, who called himself a ‘land explorer and innovation digger‘ worked in Sicily for one week as a reporter, for a music festival called Djoon Experience, which happened on the tiny, wild and gorgeous island of Favignana. After that festival, he needed a break to figure out his next move. Quickly checking Google Maps of Sicily, he decided to come to Siracusa and ended up spending over a month here.
He said he fell in love with the city and here the reason why!
Tell us about your background and your profession.
As many people nowadays, my academic and professional background is a mash up of different things. I did a bachelor in History of Arts and Cultural Policies in Paris, then a master degree in Interactive Design at la Sorbonne. During these 5 years I did around 10 internships in France, but also in Norway and Japan, mainly for museums or art centers or communication agencies.
I worked in a pretty big advertising agency called Ogilvy as UX Designer. I left this company and started to give courses (about innovation in museums) in a private school (IESA Multimedia), then I got hired by this company as program coordinator for the master degree dedicated to ”digital strategy”. I decided to leave this company, after one year and a half.
I started to be involved in fablab and hackerspace field and communities, which I loved! With some friends we’ve built a drone start-up (called Flylab, that still exists today).
In short: I am an expert of nothing, but I am quite polyvalent 🙂
Two years ago I decided to work in remote and travel more. Today I do two things: freelancing, as photographer/journalist (for Makery for instance), and project management for the creative studio we’ve just created with some old friends.
What did you like most about Siracusa?
The food, the people and the atmosphere. Local people often say, “here, everything is about food”, which should give you a good understanding where their priorities lie… You can get super tasty and crazy cheap food here, for instance a (real) cappuccino costs 1,20€, and you can have a delicious pistachio or almond pastry (1€) with it ,or fresh orange juice (2€). Sicilia is surrounded by sea, so you can easily find fish, shellfish and squid. Street food is well represented here, too with arancini and large slice of pizza (2€).
That is a cheap way of living. Of course you can also go in great restaurants and have gastronomic and romantic dinner for 20 euros per person, wine included.
About weather, I was there in the middle of summer, so I had no rain for 30 days, only sun and blue sky with daily temperatures between 32 and 35 degrees. Most of the shops and indoor places have air conditioning. And in “worst” case a short swim or a nap would split your day perfectly.
Whether you are a pro hiker, a regular diver or an art lover, Siracusa and its surroundings have everything to seduce you. Ortigia, the historical center of Siracusa, is under UNESCO protection, like many places in this region. It’s definitely a charming place, full of back streets, hidden garden, courtyards and all sorts of urban artefacts. Art lovers are gonna have heart strokes every 10 meters. Greeks, Normans and Arabs settled in Sicily, and you can feel and see it through many buildings and remains. So many influent personalities are related to the city (like Archimedes, who´s a native, or Caravaggio, who spent time in Siracusa).
Adrien, why did you chose Impact Hub Siracusa as your coworking space?
Actually, I chose to go to Siracusa because of Impact Hub (it’s true!). I heard about Impact Hub before and wanted to experience it, as I feel pretty close to social innovation. And when I discovered that there were one in Siracusa I decided to have a jump there.
I was so surprised… It’s probably the most charming coworking space I ever been. It’s located right in the middle of the old city, hidden in a quiet street, you have to pass by a calm, green and welcoming backyard to go inside. Impact Hub, as you may know, is a famous global community, focused on social innovation. Impact Hub connects many local communities through specific coworking spaces and projects, all involved in the digital transition.
Here in Siracusa, the local community is deeply involved in design (service design, information architecture, UX design, urban planning, furniture…), museums and policies innovations, immigration and food fields, mainly thanks to the work of actors and connectors like Vincenzo Di Maria, Claudia Busetto and Simone Piceno. Furthermore an interesting connection exists between the Hub in Siracusa, and Vulcanic, the incubator in Catania (a vibrant city of one million habitants located 30 min from Siracusa) which is much more focused on start-ups and business.
What will you do differently next time you visit Siracusa?
I would do the same: finding a flat and coming to Impact Hub half of the day time. I would also find a way to be more involved in local life, probably by helping/working on the immigration issue. Few good things happen there, but there is still a lot to do! In Siracusa there is a really interesting guy, called Ramzi that is doing great things on it. He knows very well the topic and has a worldwide network and nice intentions. I would probably try create connections, or a program with TechFugees community. I think I would also focus on freediving!
Tell us about your current project!
Now I just came back to Taipei (Taiwan), with a friend and my girlfriend. I will stay here for several months I think, to focus on our studio’s development (finding projects/ clients and building up the intern organization), keep doing photography but also to keep exploring this great culture and country.
What drives you?
Curiosity and people!
Thank you Adrien!
If you want to check out his video about Siracusa, follow the link below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX6TNKwROcs